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More Forecasting

November 24, 2008

It’s been an exciting week, looking at the fashion trends that forecasters have predicted for Spring/Summer 09, Autumn/Winter 09/10, Spring/Summer 10 and Autumn/Winter 10/11. Yes, they do forecast that far ahead! Usually, fashion/textile trends are predicted 18 months in advance and are released at trade shows such as the highly regarded Première Vision held twice-yearly in not only Paris, but also, New York, Moscow, Shanghai and Tokyo.

I attended Première Vision in Paris in 2004. It was fantastic! There are several exhibition halls at Parc des Expositions, Paris Nord Villepinte, near the major airport, Charles de Gaulle. Each hall hosts a different facet of the forecasting show:

  • Première Vision (Fabric Colours/Materials)
  • Expofil (Textile Yarns/Fibres)
  • Le Cuir à Paris (Leather/Fur)
  • Indigo (Embroidery/Appliqué/Vintage etc)
  • Mod Amont (Trims/Buttons etc)
  • Zoom (European/North African Manufacturing)

Fashion forecasts dictate quite heavily the trends in homewares, so I find this is a good starting point. This year, I have decided to research the trends that will coincide with the culmination of my project and launch mid-2009, as well as further down the track. This is to better understand what is likely to be on the market at the time my prototypes are available and how the trends will shift in the first 12 months of the release of my products. Usually, seasonal trends merge one into the next and there is a flow on of influences as the seasons evolve.

Spring/Summer 09 influences as launched at Première Vision are:

A radical, fresh season,
full of wit and joyous disorder,
that blends nature and artifice with brio,
takes clear positions on colour,
and affirms,
consciously and insouciantly, the energy of tomorrows.
It dedicates itself to the sustainable
and lauds the joys of the ephemeral.
It draws on the moment, to thrust itself into motion.
It soaks up many elsewheres to interpret them with skill.
It makes claims on space and takes its ease.
A season of nonchalant freedom,
with a gently grating flavour,
with a witting fullness,
that dares to cast itself in the thick of life,
with a light heart.

Launched in 1995 for specific information on homewares trends, the bi-annual Maison et Objet trade fair is highly influential in the global interiors community. There are a number of satellite shows that sit under the umbrella of Maison et Objet including:

  • Meuble Paris (Furniture)
  • Scenes d’Interieur (Luxury Interiors)
  • Now! Design a Vivre (New Generation Designers)
  • Maison & Objet Editeurs (Upholstery Fabrics)
  • Maison & Objet Projets (Manufactures meet Specifiers)
  • Maison & Objet Outdoor-Indoor
  • Maison & Objet Musèes (Cultural Objects)

Also, most forecasting agencies will create trend reports tailored specifically to the homewares market, along with brief fact sheets available from their websites at no charge.

The most I really want to pull from this research is a greater understanding of what the seasonal trends will be and a sense of the direction in which we are headed. I’d like my prototypes to sit comfortably within a changing marketplace, but also be timeless in their ability to transcend seasonal influences and reflect my style and personality.

Yep, you’ve got it… still designing!

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